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Brigadier General Alexander Asboth
U. S. Army,
commanding at Columbus, Ky.,

MARMADUKE'S EXPEDITION INTO MISSOURI

Page 283 Chapter XXXIV.

Reports of Brigadier General Alexander Asboth, U. S. Army, commanding at Columbus, Ky., of co-operation with McNeil.

HDQRS. SIXTH DIVISION, SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,

Columbus, Ky.,
April 26, 1863.

GENERAL: Lieutenant Livingston, aide-de-camp to Brigadier-General Montgomery, has just arrived from Cairo, and reports that heavy artillery firing commenced early this morning at Cape Girardeau, and has continued all day.
I would be glad to take the enemy in the rear, but my troops here are all provided with condemned arms, worthless in the field. The Bostona Numbers 2 is now at landing, with over 10,000 stand of good arms and ammunition, consigned to Captain J. P. Harper, Memphis. Can I take 3,000 stand and ammunition for my troops, and will you give your consent to the movement proposed?
I will, in anticipation, take steps immediately to secure transportation.

ASBOTH,
Brigadier-General.




Major-General HURLBUT,
Memphis, Tenn.,

MEMPHIS,
April 26, 1863-11 p. m.

Brigadier General A. ASBOTH:

The commanding general directs that if you are sure there is a real attack, you will take 3,000 stand of arms and move up.

Respectfully,

HENRY BINMORE,
Assistant Adjutant-General.

Page 284



HDQRS. SIXTH DIVISION, SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,

Columbus, Ky.,
April 27, 1863.

COLONEL: At the urgent solicitation of Brigadier General John McNeil, commanding at Cape Girardeau, I have this morning sent him two regiments of infantry, a section of artillery, and 100,000 rounds of ammunition for his command, with directions to send back the troops as soon as re-enforced by Brigadier-General Vandever, which he expected to-day. General McNeil wrote me that he had been attacked by Marmaduke, with four brigades, 8,000 men, and repulsed him, but would be attacked again.
As my troops here were all provided with commanded arms, I considered it necessary to take from a large lot of good arms on steamer Bostona Numbers 2, consigned to Captain Harper, Memphis, 3,000 Enfield rifled muskets, as alluded to in yesterday's telegram, and had my explanatory report ready to send by Bostona, but she left from the lower depot without orders or permission. The report will be sent by first boat.

ASBOTH,
Brigadier-General.

Lieutenant-Colonel BINMORE,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Memphis, Tenn.

ADDENDA.



SAINT LOUIS,
April 27, 1863.

General ASBOTH:

My troops have routed the rebels near Cape Girardeau, and they retreated toward Chalk Bluff. Even a small additional force at New Madrid would admit of a successful move from that point. There is some trouble crossing Little River, but this makes it safe the enemy goes down on the west on Little River.

SAML. R. CURTIS,
Major-General.



SAINT LOUIS,
April 27, 1863.

General ASBOTH:
If you can send force to Chalk Bluff, via New Madrid, you may take Marmaduke in flank, or cut off his retreat. Some artillery and cavalry would be necessary. The river swamp would be the proper base to hold, while light troops act toward Chalk Bluff and New Madrid. Infantry will co-operate.

SAML. R. CURTIS,
Major-General.



HDQRS. SIXTH DIVISION, SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,

Columbus,
April 27, 1863.

GENERAL: I this morning sent two regiment of infantry, two companies of cavalry, a section of artillery, and 100,000 rounds of small-arm ammunition to Brigadier-General McNeil, at Cape Girardeau, being all in my power to accomplish, having no more infantry or artillery that can be sent, which I regret exceedingly. I will immediately secure transportation, and send six companies of cavalry to New Madrid, to operate as desired by you, as far as possible.

ASBOTH,
Brigadier-General.

Major General SAMUEL R. CURTIS, Saint Louis, Mo.

Page 285




HDQRS. SIXTH DIVISION, SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,

Columbus,
April 28, 1863.-2.15 p. m.

GENERAL: Six companies of the Fourth Missouri Cavalry, Major Laugen commanding, left last evening for New Madrid, with orders to co-operate with the commander of that last. The rebels being repulsed from Cape Girardeau, I request that my troops sent yesterday morning may be immediately ordered back. An action is now going on in the direction of Charleston, the cannonading being very distinct. I hope my cavalry is at work, and I have ordered General Buford to inform General McNeil of their co-operation.

ASBOTH,
Brigadier-General.

Major-General CURTIS, Saint Louis.

SAINT LOUIS,
April 28, 1863.

General ASBOTH:

GENERAL: Your troops sent to Cape Girardeau have started back. Accept my thanks for this and other favors. Press the New Madrid movement. The rebels made a stand for several hours yesterday, but finally retired and retreated toward Bloomfield. There must be a pretty strong force.

SAML. R. CURTIS,
Brigadier-General.


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